Biomimicry in Business
According to Gallup (the global research and polling organization), “engaged” employees feel they have an opportunity to do what they do best each day, have someone at work who encourages their development, believe their opinions count, and are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work. Engaged employees drive company innovation, growth, and revenue. In June 2016, Gallup announced that more than two-thirds of all employees in the U.S. are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work. That’s bad news for business, but it’s even worse news for employees. What it means is that most people are mostly checked-out most of the time
Tharalelo Mokgokong is way more than your average recently-graduated master’s degree student. In addition to being an avid runner of half marathons, a mentor to underprivileged children, and an advocate for sustainable business development in rural areas, Tharalelo has essentially redesigned the South African Post Office’s delivery system by looking to nature for inspiration.
Sustainability is a journey and we have to start where we are today. How might we create real change within an industry? Embrace waste and all of its potential. This is an inside look into how our team is working to change industry from within a large manufacturing corporation by turning what we normally think of as waste into something better.
As an evolutionary biologist, a businessperson, and a biomimic, I’m always looking for the deep patterns in life, trying to find out what lasts. And here’s one thing I know is true:
Organizations can’t keep growing the way we structure them today.
A recurring theme in the biomimicry track of this year’s SXSW Eco conference was the increasing multidimensionality of ways biomimicry is being applied not just to products, but also to processes and systems. Chemistry, investing, leadership, branding: all can be bioinspired. I’m enthusiastic about applying biomimicry to financial architecture, or the architectures of exchange. Biomimicry offers a new language, longer timeframe, wider lens, and better-rooted framework overall for thinking about system design. It allows us to finally step “outside” (literally and figuratively) the narrow conceptual models of finance that are currently sinking our collective ship. How would nature design a financial system? This blog post is adapted from a short presentation I gave at SXSW Eco on this question.